Cauliflower with Ginger-Cashew Onion Sauce

Cauliflower with Ginger-Cashew Onion Sauce

Serves 4

Cook to Cook: The cauliflower can be steamed a day ahead and reheated before serving. The onion sauce could be made ahead as well.

Canola oil or extra-virgin olive oil
3 medium onions, thin sliced
Salt and fresh ground black pepper
4 large garlic cloves, minced
One 1-inch piece fresh ginger root, peeled and minced
1 whole jalapeño chili, minced (with seeds for greater heat)
8 stems fresh coriander, fine chopped
1/3 cup raisins
1 25-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup vinegar (rice, cider or wine)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 cup water
1 large cauliflower, cut into large florets

Juice of 1/2 large lime or lemon
1/4 cup shredded sweetened coconut
1/2 cup salted cashews broken into large pieces

1. Film the bottom of a 12-inch skillet with oil. Heat over medium-high to high. Add the onions, salt and pepper. Sauté over high heat, stirring often, until onions begin to color.

2. Stir in the garlic, ginger, chili, coriander, raisins, and chickpeas. Stir over medium-high 2 minutes then add the vinegar. Cook, stirring occasionally, until all vinegar has evaporated (about 2 minutes).
3. Push the sauté to the sides of the pan so the center is empty and add the tomato paste. Sauté about 30 seconds, add the water, then stir until the paste and water are combined. Now blend everything together, cooking another 2 or 3 minutes. Taste for seasoning and set the sauté aside. (It could be refrigerated overnight at this point).

4. Set a collapsible steamer in a 6-quart pot, add several inches of water, cover the pot and bring to a boil. Place the cauliflower in the steamer and sprinkle with a little salt. Steam until the cauliflower shows a little resistance when pierced with a knife. With long tongs remove the cauliflower to a large shallow bowl.

5. Heat the onion sauté and spoon it over the cauliflower, using any liquid in the pan. Squeeze the lime or lemon juice over the sauté and scatter with the coconut and cashews. Serve hot or warm.


When buying fresh cauliflower, choose firm, compact heads with no brown spots and some bright green, crisp, firmly attached leaves. Heads with small black spots of mold or wilted leaves are past their prime. Store in a plastic bag in the refrigerator vegetable bin for up to one week.

Leftover fresh ginger root can be stored in the freezer. Wrap tightly in aluminum foil and seal in a zip-top plastic freezer bag. Freeze for up to a month.

The sauce would be good spooned over grilled or sautéed fish, rice or rice noodles.